Sunday, February 11, 2007

Pre-Code Musicals

Two repertory houses on different coasts are spotlighting pre-code musicals on their schedules this winter and spring. First, the Stanford Theatre in Palo Alto will be showing early "all singing, all dancing" films every weekend from February to April. Pre-code movies include:

Monte Carlo (2/24, 2/25) - This early Ernst Lubitsch talkie from 1930 stars Jeanette McDonald.

One Hour With You (3/24, 3/25) - More Lubitsch magic, co-directed by George Cukor.

Footlight Parade (4/7, 4/8) - Busby Berkeley's kaleidoscopic chorepgraphy dazzles in this 1933 musical.

The eclectic winter schedule also features some rare film noir as well as Val Lewton classics.

3000 miles away, Film Forum continues to bring unsung and forgotten classic films to new audiences, this time with an eclectic series of B Musicals. Though most films on the schedule are from the late '30s through the '40s, there are a few nights featuring rarely-screened pre-code musicals.

Sitting Pretty (4/1) - A pre-Fred Astaire Ginger Rogers is pared with Jack Haley in this Paramount production from 1933. Also stars Thelma Todd and Jack Oakie.

Torch Singer (4/1) - Another Paramount gem starring a sultry Claudette Colbert as a New York City nightclub chanteuse. "The worst woman in New York...sang the best love songs!"

Melody Cruise (4/4)- Where else could you see a pre-code "ice ballet?"

Moonlight and Pretzels (4/4) - William Frawley (Fred Mertz) is in this intriguingly titled Universal low-budget musical.

Hips, Hips, Hooray! (4/10) - Wheeler and Woolsey's corny jokes alternate with catchy tunes and scenes of scantily-clad models in this sexy Pre-Code musical.

College Rhythm (4/11) - "Wanna buy a duck?" comic Joe Penner stars in this college musical released at the end of the Pre-Code era.

Song of Love (4/15) - Once thought lost, this 1929 musical features Eve Arden in her film debut.

Also on 4/15, a program of restored Vitaphone shorts from 1926-1930 featuring Broadway and vaudeville stars of the era.

Check out the rest of the schedule for more movie musicals. Though they may not have the budget or name recognition of "Dreamgirls," many of them are sure to get your toes a tapping.

3 comments:

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Jeff...So happy you commented and I could come on over and visit you. This is a fascinating blog! I am a movie lover as you have probably gathered from reading my blog---and these films--WOW! I am familer with some, but not All! TCM is really fantastic, isn't it? It is my favorite favorite television channel---when those other two---AMC & BRAVO went "commercial"...I was so deeply disappointed and heartsick....I pray TCM never never goes that route! I don't think it will, but one never knows!
You are so knowledgable Jeff....
I am unable to read the words under the name of your blof because with my eyes there isn't any contrast....Where do you live? West Coast or East Coast or somewhere in the midde?

Incidentally, I gave Betty G's. son Forbidden Hollywood for Christmas! great collection!

Jeff said...

Hi Naomi! Nice to see your comment! I live in San Francisco - and yes, aren't we lucky to have TCM. Thanks for visiting! Checking out your Oscar comments!

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